Chornyak & Associates

April 2019

At Chornyak, we are helping more young people plan for their life needs at an early age. Our lead story addresses ideas regarding money moves that millennials should be making right now.

With college expenses rising at alarming levels, our second article by Commonwealth gives hints on how to master financial aid eligibility, and how grandparents can best help.

This month's "What's Happening Now" section shares interesting stories on how rich millennials spend and display their money, creative ways to make $1 million, and on the fascinating Vessel Sculpture in New York's Hudson Yards.

We'd like to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us by phone at 614-888-2121, toll-free 877-389- 2121 or e-mail with any questions or comments.
Sincerely, Joe
10 Strategies to Maximize your 401(k) Balance

6 Money Moves That Millennials
Should Be Making Right Now

There's no time like the present. It holds true in all things, none more so than with personal finance. Time can be unforgiving when you take it for granted and that's why Millennials who aren't giving much thought to their future should probably start, because the earlier you implement some of these simple money moves, the better off you'll be down the road.

1. Monitor Your Credit Score - Trying to repair bad credit can be difficult, but if you're monitoring your score at all times you can fix a problem before it gets too late. It's a good idea to routinely check your report in case you're the victim of identity fraud and it can help prevent you from racking up too much debt. If your score starts to get lower, then you know there's a problem in your spending habits and you can course correct early. Read More

Mastering Financial Aid Eligibility


For many families, financial aid programs help make higher education attainable. The first step in applying for aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is used to determine the student's eligibility for federal aid programs, such as grants, work-study options, and loans. Schools also use the FAFSA to assess whether additional aid is available from an applicant's state of residence and from the school itself.

The FAFSA's more than 100 questions ask for a host of personal information, including marital and citizenship status, tax- and income-related information, household size, and the schools that the student will apply to. It also asks for details about the income, assets, and education history of the applicant's parents.

Please note: Many private colleges and universities require aid applications in addition to the FAFSA. The most common of these is the CSS Profile. Check with each school's financial aid office to determine which applications are required.

Tips for navigating the income-related questions

The role of tax returns.
Information from the student's and his or her parents' tax returns is used to complete the FAFSA's income-related questions. Due to a recent change, there is a two-year look-back regarding the data required. This means that a family filling out the 2019–2020 FAFSA should use the data from its 2017 tax returns. Consequently, tax returns filed in the student's last two years of college will not affect aid awards. Read More

What's Happening Now

Rich Millennials Spend and Display their Money Differently than Rich Baby Boomers 11 Creative Ways to Make $1 Million $200 Million Vessel Sculpture in New York’s Hudson Yards

Market Update

Strong March caps great start to the year

For the third month in a row, all three major U.S. equity markets were positive for the month. The Nasdaq Composite led the way with a return of 2.70 percent, and the S&P 500 grew by 1.94 percent. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) came in with a gain of 0.17 percent, held back by Boeing. The three indices finished the quarter in the same order, with gains of 16.81 percent for the Nasdaq, 13.65 percent for the S&P 500, and 11.81 percent for the DJIA.

Despite this strong performance, market fundamentals worsened during the first quarter. According to FactSet, the estimate for first-quarter earnings growth for the S&P 500 stood at 2.9 percent at the end of 2018. As of quarter's end, this estimated earnings growth had fallen to a loss of 3.9 percent. This weakening of company fundamentals was widespread. In fact, all 11 sectors showed declines in estimates over the course of the quarter.

Fundamentals drive performance over the long term. But over the short term, weakening fundamentals do not necessarily mean that markets will suffer losses. In fact, over the past 20 quarters, this marks the 15th time that market values have increased while earnings estimates have declined. Further, analysts still expect positive earnings growth for the next three quarters and for the year. This growth should continue to support markets.

From a technical perspective, the news was good. All three major U.S. indices spent much of January and parts of February below their respective 200-day moving averages. Still, they ended the quarter above this important technical level. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell below their trend lines briefly in March before rebounding into month's end.

International markets also had a strong month and quarter. The MSCI EAFE Index, which covers developed economies, gained 0.63 percent for the month and 9.98 percent for the quarter. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was up by 0.86 percent for March and 9.97 percent for the quarter. Technicals here were also positive at quarter-end. Both indices finished the period above their respective trend lines. Read More